INEC Fixes March 23 For Bayelsa Assembly Supplementary Poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says it would hold House of Assembly supplementary election on March 23 in Bayelsa State, in areas where election was declared inconclusive in Feb. 23, poll.

Mr Wilfred Ifogah, Head of INEC Voter Education and Publicity in the state, disclosed this in a statement issued on behalf of the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Monday on Thursday in Yenagoa.

“The election will hold in five wards in Ogbia Local Government Area(LGA).

“It will also take place in two wards in Southern Ijaw LGA and one ward in Brass LGA,” he said.

According to him, the places where election will hold are: Otuokpoti, Ologi, Ayama and Okodi polling units in Ogbia constituency II, Ukube and Koluama units in Southern Ijaw constituency IV and some units in Cape Farmoso in Brass constituency I.

“INEC wishes to inform the people of the state, especially the critical stakeholders of the date for the conduct of supplementary election in the constituencies were election was declared inconclusive,” he stated.


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Man Kills Children With Sniper After Accusing Them Of Withcraft

A forty- two year old man Samuel Otasi, from Aguobiri community in the Yenagoa council area of Bayelsa state who tied three of his children in the bush and forced them to drink a substance suspected to be ‘sniper’ insecticide has been arrested by the police.

Parading the suspect in Yenagoa, police commissioner, Aminu Saleh told journalists that two out of the three children died while, the third survived and is recuperating in the hospital.

According to police investigations, the suspect Samuel Otasi carried out the dastardly act after collecting the three children from their mother, from whom he has been divorced, in the guise of taking them for a crossover church service.

Otasi was reported to have instead taken them to a bush where he tied all three up before forcing them to drink insecticide, leading to the death of two of the youngsters.

Lying on the hospital bed, the surviving child said his father carried out the act after a prophet declared that he and his other siblings were wizards.

The Bayelsa state police commissioner, Aminu Saleh who had earlier conducted journalists round the crime scene, said the corpse of the two deceased children have been deposited in the mortuary.

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University Lecturers Protest Against Demotion

Seven lecturers of the Federal University Otuoke in Bayelsa State who were demoted by the institution’s Authorities have described the action as illegal and reckless.

The lecturers, who were recruited into the university from the diaspora, at a news conference in Yenagoa, blamed their travails on the Vice-Chancellor of University, Professor Seth Accra-Jaja.

Our corespondent reports that the institution announced the demotions of the academic staff claiming they lacked requisite scholarship and absconded from the university.

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FG Cites Compensation As A Challenge In Project Implementation

The Federal Government says issues of compensation are major challenges affecting the timely completion of on-going projects across Nigeria.

Minister of State “One” for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri made the remark during an inspection of on-going Federal projects in Bayelsa State.

The minister started his inspection tour in Bayelsa State from the thirty-three point five kilometres Yenagoa, Yenegwe, Okarki Kolo road where work done so far stands at about nineteen kilometres, from where he proceeded to the twenty kilometers Kolo-Otuoke Bayelsa Palm road and ended his inspection in the area at the almost completed Federal Government Secretariat located in the capital, Yenagoa.

The Minister of State “One” for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri who expressed satisfaction that the contractors are back on site, assured that in the next two to three years, all the jobs will be completed.

Mr. Baba Shehuri decried the temporary stoppage of work at the Kolo-Otuoke Bayelsa Palm road due to compensational challenges and called on the people to always play down on compensation because of the general benefit of such projects when completed while promising that the monies would soon be paid to the people for the contractor to return to site.

The project engineer at the Federal Secretariat, Yenagoa, Mr. Isaac Ugwu said all internal works in the building has been completed pending external works.

Earlier, the Federal controller of Works Bayelsa State, Mr. Oseyi Aigbe noted that work at the road projects inspected was also slowed down due to the recent flood in the state.

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PDP Raises Alarm Over Change Of Police Commissioners In Bayelsa

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decried the frequent changes of Commissioners of Police in Bayelsa State.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbodinyan, stated this while addressing a news conference on Friday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He alleged that the action by the police hierarchy was a ploy to compromise security in the state and pave the way for rigging in the general elections in 2019.

“Eight different (police) commissioners have been brought in and taken out with a span of three months,” Ologbodinyan noted.

According to him, some of the police commissioners posted to Bayelsa spent less than one week before they were posted out of the state.

The PDP spokesman warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government against actions that can compromise the security of the state ahead of the forthcoming polls.

He stressed, “Our party is saying that they should not create a confusion that they will not be able to manage.”

“It may interest Nigerians to know that in its desperation, the APC has influenced the Inspector General of Police into posting eight different Commissioners of Police to Bayelsa State within the space of the last three months,” Ologbodinyan alleged.

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Vice President Osinbajo Visits Areas Affected By Floods In Rivers, Bayelsa

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has visited some of the communities affected by floods in Rivers and Bayelsa states.

Professor Osinbajo, who made the visit on Friday, also condoled with the victims of the floods in both states in Nigeria’s southern region.

Addressing those displaced by the floods in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers where over 71 communities have been submerged, he promised to resettle the residents back to their various homes.

He said, “The Federal Government will give all the support and all the succour that is necessary to ensure not only that you are as comfortable as possible in the circumstances here, but more importantly that you are resettled properly when in the next few weeks, by the grace of God, you are able to go back home.”

The Vice President added that the Federal Government would work with the state government to restore their livelihoods in a few weeks.

He equally assured the flood victims of immediate intervention and long-term strategies to forestall any reoccurrence of the incident.

Professor Osinbajo also visited the camp of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Igbogene area of Bayelsa State.

He said the Muhammadu Buhari administration would not leave the displaced persons to their plights, stressing that the government has a responsibility to take care of the people’s welfare.

The Vice President said, “On behalf of President Muhammdu Buhari, we will stand by you and whatever you need we will provide.”

“It is our duty as government to ensure that we take care of the people,” he added.

“That’s why I am here to see first-hand what is going on so that we will understand the type and quality of response to take further.”

Professor Osinbajo also met with a woman who put to bed recently at the camp.

Vice President Osinbajo was received in Yenagoa, the state capital by Governor Seriake Dickson and top government officials in Bayelsa.

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Three killed In Clash Of PDP, APC Supporters In Bayelsa

Three persons were feared killed yesterday in Brass area of Bayelsa State.The violence occurred when supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clashed in the area.One of those killed was identified as spokesman of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), even as both sides have given conflicting reasons for the attacks.

According to sources close to PDP supporters, the three persons were killed when they attempted to assassinate the caretaker chairman of Brass Local Council Area, Victoria Isiah. But, the APC supporters claimed that the deaths occurred when some members of the IYC challenged over 10-armed men suspected to have been hired by the PDP from the neighbouring Odioma community.

Another source from the community, Charles Junior, said the clash took place when APC leant that PDP had camped thugs in the local council chairman’s lodge.He said: “The whole incident started on August 15, with the attack on the IYC chairman in Brass. Though the attackers and their PDP supporters were chased out of the town, but the elders pleaded that they be allowed back into town.”

The source revealed that the armed men were heading towards Imbikiri part of the town when the IYC challenged them.An aide to the caretaker chairman disclosed that the clash was due to provocation by some APC youths, following an earlier attack on the council’s special adviser on youths matter.

A post monitored on the chairman’s Facebook page, said: “A few days ago, some suspected armed APC youths attacked the local council chairman’s aide and PDP youths, and attempted to assassinate the caretaker chairman.”

When the spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat,was contacted, he confirmed that: “There was a clash between youths who claimed to be PDP and APC members. One person was reported dead, while others were injured.

“We have deployed policemen to restore peace in the area. We have also commenced investigation to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the crisis. We advise people to go about their normal activities.”


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Bayelsa Gov Dickson Loses Mother

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has confirmed the demise of his mother, gold coast dickson who passed on in the early hours of Thursday at the age of 72.

According to a press statement released by the state government, late Goldcoast died of cancer at the university of Texas M.D. Anderson cancer centre, Houston, Texas where she had been receiving treatment.

Governor Dickson expressed appreciation to family members, friends, political associates and Nigerians generally for their prayers and support in the most trying times of the Dickson’s family.

Until her death, she was a devout christian and community leader who devoted her lifetime to the service of god and humanity.

Condolence registers have been opened in government house, Yenagoa,  the Governor’s residences in Opolo,  Yenagoa and Toru-Orua community in Sagbama Lga, Bayelsa state liaison office, Izon Wari in Abuja, and Governor’s lodge,  Asokoro, Abuja.

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President Buhari To Inaugurate 3.5Km Runway Bayelsa Airport

President Muhammadu Buhari, will next month visit Bayelsa to inaugurate the state’s International Airport, which has a 3.5-kilometre long  runway for large airplanes.

The airport, fully funded by the state government, officials told journalists during an inspection yesterday, would also begin to receive test flights from the 20th of August, before the official opening on August 27th  by the president.

“We are ready for the unveiling and of course no one is in any doubt that this will be one of the very best in this part of the world when open. This runway can take a big aircraft like the Boeing 737,” Commissioner for Information and Orientation in the state, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said.

The Commissioner along with journalists, who were taken round the facility by the Director of Bayelsa Airlines, Capt. Henry Ungbuku, noted that with the completion of the project, Bayelsa would not only become a business hub for surrounding states but also for some West African countries.

He added that the multi-billion naira airport would also create job opportunities for  the people of the state, noting that most of the work at the facility already over 95 per cent, was done in a recession.

“There will be more business opportunities, more investment opportunities and more revenue. It is indeed a dream come true for us as a government. We are so excited about this project because of the massive benefits the state and our people will derive from it.

“This is the heart of the Niger Delta, this is the Jerusalem of the Ijaw Nation and this airport will give us a new narrative. I want our people to know that this is not politics.

“It is development, and we have often said that we don’t play politics with development. This airport will be used by both PDP and APC members, so nobody should politicise this project. That is why the President is coming to commission it,” he said.

 He insisted that the major oil multinationals companies operating in the area could now bring in their equipment through the airport, stressing that  it will be one of the safest  in Nigeria when fully operational.

“You can fly from here to London, instead of going to Lagos first, to any European country and even African countries. We owe the Bayelsa people the responsibility to lead the way,” he added.

In his remarks, Ungbuku, said the flight from the airport to Lagos would be 35 minutes as opposed to the Port Harcourt airport which takes 45 minutes, explaining that the airport would have a ‘Category Two’ approach system, unlike the older versions currently being used in the country.

 “They have just one or two airports that have that in Nigeria right now. It means that Bayelsa airport has become an alternative when there are weather issues or fuelling problems. It’s a fuelling hub too. If the conditions are not good, you can actually fly into Yenagoa as an alternative destination.

“If you are going to Sao Tome and Principe or Equatorial Guinea, it’s just 15 minutes from here. There’s a direct route from this airport to Onitsha which is one of the biggest markets we have around which makes it a perfect destination for cargo,” he said.


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Corps Members Die In Bayelsa Road Accident

Two National Youth Corps members serving in Bayelsa state died after a fatal accident in Yenagoa.

According to eyewitnesses, the corps members died in the accident involving a commercial motorcycle otherwise called keke on the swali bridge in the state capital.

The corps members were on their way to final clearances in their service year.

The Corps Commander of the federal road safety corps in Bayelsa state, Mr. Ikechukwu Igwe confirmed the incident.

Two other corps members and the driver of the tricycle are receiving treatment at the Federal medical centre, Yenagoa.

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Bayelsa Gov Urges President Buhari To Restructure Nigeria

Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure the country in the interest of all Nigerians.

The governor said this on Friday during a media chat at the Government House, Yenagoa, the state capital.

According to him, restructuring the nation would put Nigeria on the path of sustainable development.

His words: “As I mentioned in the course of my meeting with him (President Buhari), I believe, the president should show the same poise and patriotism on the issue of restructuring and showing presidential leadership and direction as he has done on the issue of June 12.

“He should do same on restructuring which is  far more fundamental to Nigeria , to make it a  nation that can last for a long time which will go down in history that there was a president who had the courage to act.”

He reminded the federal government that a balanced federation was in everybody’s interest, but asked the proponents of restructuring to work for the buy-in of the north.

“Every part of Nigeria can benefit from it. If it’s wanton killings going on in the country, the solution is restructuring. We need to have states that are able to protect themselves.

“Not some officers sitting in Abuja who do not know the peculiar circumstances in the states. We are talking about right to control resources subject to taxation by the federal government.”

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Bayelsa To Launch Task Force On Illegal Refinaries

The Bayelsa State Government has set plans in motion to establish a task force to check illegal refineries activities to protect the environment.

The State Governor, Seriake Dickson made the remark in Yenagoa, the capital city of the southern Nigerian State during the celebration of this year’s World Environment Day.

Governor Dickson noted that his administration engaged the services of forensic experts to compile the effects of prolonged oil pollution on the environment and health of the people in the state.

Dickson described snippets of the forensic reports as “saddening and frightening”,stating that the report would be made public in due course.

According to the Governor, decades of oil pollution and gas flaring in the state and the Niger Delta region was responsible for rising cases of health hazards, with a negative effect on the life span of people.

The Governor said “I urge all of you people of goodwill to join the effort to protect the environment especially in the Niger Delta, which has been under severe, sustained and brutal attack by operators of illegal refineries”.

He said “they have not only invaded the land and expropriated their properties but are now threatening to exterminate the people. A lot of actions would be taken and we will mobilize local and international opinions and the State Assembly on this”.

Governor Dickson said that there was no justification for illegal refinery, stressing “these only further degrade and pollute the already compromised environment as well as destroy lives”.

While reflecting on the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, “Beat Plastic Pollution”, he assured of the State Government’s commitment to invest in reducing the use of plastic products.

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